We are living in an online era. With the advent of internet and good infrastructural facilities in developed as well as developing countries, more and more businesses are willing to sell their products online.
The e-commerce industry is seeing a never before growth in present time with new customers choosing to buy things online than offline. E-commerce sales in 2018 have, so far, exceeded $500 billion in the U.S. alone. These digits are really overwhelming.
Since the number of people using smartphones is increasing every single day, more people are becoming internet savvy. As a result e-commerce merchants are expecting more growth.
Ecommerce merchants in a small study conducted by eCommerceFuel experienced an annual revenue growth of 36.8 percent in 2018.
This growth rate is much higher than that of 2017 when they experienced a 24.7 percent annual revenue growth. So it’s likely that ecommerce merchants will experience continued growth in 2022.
At the same time, growth is bound to come with challenges in the form of stiff competition.
That means ecommerce merchants need to be equipped with the best tools to up their ecommerce game and face their competitors.
Here are some of the best tools you’ll need in 2022.
BigCommerce is an excellent website builder for ecommerce shops.
It is able to manage multiple sales channels from one integrated dashboard, making it an indispensable tool. This allows ecommerce merchants to scale up their omni-channel retail strategy.
Harvard Business Review published an study on 46,000 shoppers. 73 percent of them used multiple channels during their shopping journey.
Omni-channel customers spend more than those who only use one channel. They spend four percent more in-store than shoppers who use one channel and 10 percent more online.
If you want to grow your business in 2022, then you must meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of these multi-channel customers.
This means that you need to make it easier for customers to research and buy products through every channel.
This is where BigCommerce comes in. BigCommerce is the best ecommerce platform to sync your inventory with all channels that you use for direct selling.
BigCommerce supports native integrations to several key channels including Amazon, eBay and Facebook. It also supports in-person sales using Square POS.
Once everything is set up, each order can be processed in one location.
GrooveHQ provides a platform that allows you to manage all aspects of customer service and support.
This is vital because your success as a business depends on the quality of your service and your customers.
Customer service should be a positive experience that encourages customers to return to your site for future purchases.
According to “Marketing Metrics”, there is a 5–20 percent chance that you will sell to a prospect. However, there is a 60 to 70 percent chance of selling an existing customer.
According to a NewVoiceMedia report customers are suffering from poor service and businesses are losing 75 billion each year. According to the survey, 67 percent of respondents were willing switch brands due to poor customer service.
Customers often leave because they feel unappreciated or can’t talk to someone who can help.
Other reasons to leave include dealing with rude or unhelpful employees, and being passed around to other people.
However, 86% of customers will continue doing business with a company if they feel a connection with customer service representatives.
A Adobe study also found that experience-driven companies have a 2x customer lifetime value, and 2.7x cross-sell/upsell rate.
Companies that are focused on providing a great customer experience are more likely to be profitable.
You must not only focus on acquiring new customers but also keep your existing customers happy.
How can you do this best?
By delivering exceptional customer experience.
GrooveHQ’s ticketing system makes it easy to provide personalized support and service to your customers.
You can make sure that customers receive support from agents they have worked with previously by assigning tickets easily.
It is possible to keep all customer communications in one place. This allows anyone to track past communications and offer support as needed.
It is much easier for support staff to coordinate their efforts than having to read through hundreds of emails to gain an understanding of past customer experiences.
Even if you have to assign a new customer support agent, they will still be able provide consistent service by seamlessly continuing the conversation.
You can also integrate the platform with third party apps such as Slack and HipChat. You will be notified of new messages, emails, or comments that require immediate attention.
GrooveHQ comes with a built in live chat widget. This is essential for any business who wants to provide real-time customer support.
Customers will find it much easier to contact you if they have questions. A quick resolution of these queries can not only increase their satisfaction but also could improve their conversion rate.
ClickMeeting is a platform for creating and running custom-branded webinars. It’s a must-have if you want to get ahead of your competition in 2022.
Now you’re probably aware of how popular webinars are for B2B companies and academic institutions, as they’re mostly used for distributing educational information. So you might be wondering how they are relevant for ecommerce merchants.
That’s exactly why you have leverage over your competitors – webinars aren’t yet capitalized to their full extent in the ecommerce industry.
According to ReadyTalk, webinars are among the top content formats for driving qualified leads. And 20 to 40 percent of people who register for webinars end up becoming qualified leads.
If you promote your webinars effectively through blog posts, social shares, and registration pages, you should even be able to increase your organic search rankings.
This is crucial, considering how organic search drives 51.1 percent of traffic to ecommerce websites, according to the previously cited eCommerceFuel study.
For ecommerce merchants, webinars can be highly effective for showcasing hands-on product demonstrations.
You could demonstrate how to use newly-launched products and highly technical products, as well as how to make the most of certain features. This way, online shoppers can get the next best thing to in-store product demonstrations.
Webinars are also an excellent channel to conduct product deep-dive sessions while adding a human touch to your communication.
You could invite subject matter experts, influencers, authority figures, and product development teams for these sessions. Have them discuss the product in question in a way that would resonate with the audience.
BuzzSumo identified the top 12 ecommerce websites using content marketing and analyzed their top 100 most-shared content.
In this study, they found that product deep-dives perform extremely well especially in the more technical areas like photography or computers. They tend to drive plenty of traffic and social shares.
The ClickMeeting platform allows you to create a customized webinar room with just a few clicks. You can engage the audience with polls and surveys, moderated Q&A sessions, and simultaneous chat translations.
You can make the most of the webinar recording feature and repurpose clips from the session for your brand’s YouTube channel, or you can opt to simulcast your webinars to YouTube and Facebook for maximum live video reach.
Once the session is over, you can get an overview of its performance using the attendee statistics. Here, you get a clear idea of the number of visitors and where they’re from, as well as the top devices they used.
You’ll then be able to use this information for making improvements to future sessions and re-engagement campaigns.
Oberlo is an online marketplace that helps small and medium ecommerce businesses scale up their operations through dropshipping.
The advantage of using Oberlo is that you, as an ecommerce business owner, won’t need to hold inventory and block your resources.
Oberlo can help you find the products you’d like to add to your Shopify store and send them directly to your customers. You don’t even need to handle the nitty-gritty of shipping as Oberlo will take care of it.
All you need to do is browse to find the products you want to add them to your store. When you make a sale, you need to place an order with the supplier through Oberlo. The supplier will then ship the product directly to your customer.
The main advantage of using Oberlo over any other dropshipping service providers is that they provide a verified suppliers list.
Suppliers from AliExpress will be included in that list only if they meet Oberlo’s dropshipping standards.
This saves a lot of time for ecommerce store owners. It also prevents them from trial and failure attempts to make sure that the supplier is reliable or not.
In the unfortunate event where the supplier fails to hold up their end of the bargain, an ecommerce venture will not only lose business but also their reputation.
This is where Oberlo can help a great deal. They’ve already shortlisted the verified suppliers for you.
These suppliers have been vetted by Oberlo to make sure that they ship their products on time and provide exceptional support. So you can rest assured that your customers will get the products they’ve ordered within the promised time.
Talkable is a platform that helps you launch and manage successful referral programs. It’s a must-have for merchants who want to improve the quality of their prospects in 2022.
It’ll make it easier for you to design eye-catching campaign screens and referral pages to encourage better participation.
Referrals are extremely valuable for any business – regardless of which industry you’re in.
According to Ambassador, ecommerce and retail merchants generate $155,000 in average referral marketing revenue.
And a study by Referral SaaSquatch found that 14 percent of customers who visit a referral page end up taking action. The same study found that 68.67 percent of referred users end up converting.
The reason behind referral marketing’s effectiveness is because people trust the opinions of other people whether they’re friends, family, or even complete strangers.
In fact, 82 percent of Americans look for recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase, according to another Ambassador survey.
And 67 percent are a little more likely to buy a product that their friend or family member has shared through email or social media. At the same time, 88 percent of Americans would like to be incentivized for referring a product.
So you could design a campaign to compensate your existing customers for referring you and attract prospects with attractive deals.
Talkable lets you design different kinds of campaigns including floating referral widgets, standalone referral pages, and post-purchase pop-up overlays.
What’s great about this tool is that there’s an in-built fraud detection feature. This technology conducts a multi-check verification for every referral. So you’ll be able to limit false claims and minimize losses resulting from fraudulent referrals.
If you are selling intangible products like softwares, e-Books, Audio files or even graphic materials then you must consider Easy Digital Downloads popularly known as EDD plugin. It is so far the best e-commerce plugin for merchants across the world to sell digital inventory online.
These are some of the best tools that ecommerce merchants should equip themselves with in 2022.
Some tools can help you provide a more seamless shopping experience for omni-channel shoppers, who are growing by the minute.
Others help you provide better customer support experience and engage with customers through educational content.
Some even help you set up a proper program to incentivize your customers for referring you, which will drive sales and customer loyalty.